DIFC’s Strategic Initiatives Propel Dubai as a Global Center for Sustainable Finance

DIFC’s Sustainable Finance Catalyst, a lasting legacy of COP28, strives to extend its effect above the conference. Leveraging DIFC’s role as the pioneering global sustainable finance hub in MEASA, the Catalyst aims to propel sustainable finance flows from Dubai to USD 100 billion by 2030. Empowered by the inaugural AI-driven sustainability knowledge hub, the Catalyst will engage a network of key collaborators to educate and foster a million sustainability leaders. Additionally, it seeks to expand its sustainability-driven startup ecosystem by 50 times its current size by the year 2030.

Situated within the state-of-the-art DIFC Innovation One, the Sustainable Finance Catalyst is poised to establish itself as Dubai’s premier centralized intelligence unit dedicated to sustainable finance. With a focus on bolstering awareness, capabilities, and innovation, it aims to expedite market growth from Dubai. The Catalyst endeavors to offer expedited and cost-effective avenues for companies to access sustainability knowledge, data, and financing while cultivating essential capabilities in this domain.

In alignment with DIFC’s 2030 Strategy aimed at shaping the future of finance, the primary objective of the inaugural Sustainable Finance Catalyst in the MEASA region is to facilitate the growth of sustainable finance flows from Dubai, targeting USD 100 billion by 2030. This ambitious goal seeks to broaden access to the Global South.

To achieve this, DIFC has curated a comprehensive array of training programs and occasions in partnership with the DIFC Academy and DIFC Innovation Hub. These efforts involve close collaboration with leading experts, strategic partners, and government entities. The initiatives are designed to solidify DIFC and Dubai’s global standing in sustainable finance, foster continuous upskilling of top-tier talent, and amplify efforts in climate finance.

Arif Amiri, Chief Executive Officer of DIFC Authority, shared

Through DIFC’s Path to COP28 program, we’ve collaborated with the global industry to ensure our impact is substantial, fostering cross-border cooperation and setting a benchmark for global best practices. The Sustainable Finance Catalyst, propelled by the first AI-driven sustainability learning corner and a network of strategic partners, is crafted to amplify our initiatives. Our goal is to train 1 million sustainability leaders and exponentially expand the Centre’s sustainability-driven startup ecosystem, reaching 50 times its current size by 2030.

Going beyond the Sustainable Finance Catalyst, DIFC remains a regional leader in addressing climate change and ESGs on a broader scale, leading the charge with various initiatives –

Dubai Future District Fund Dedicates 20% to Sustainable Innovation

As part of its ongoing efforts to foster greater access to sustainable finance, DIFC has announced that the Dubai Future District Fund will earmark up to 20% of its AED 1 billion fund to propel the growth of sustainability-driven tech and innovation start-ups and scale-ups. This initiative is a collaborative effort with the Dubai Future Foundation, serving as founding partners of the fund.

In harmony with the core pillars of the DIFC Strategy 2030, which revolve around shaping the future of finance and innovation, this new fund aims to enhance financial accessibility for leading tech and innovation firms. Its primary focus is on innovative solutions geared to address urgent global challenges.

DIFC and Dubai Financial Market Lead the Way in Carbon Market Innovation

Addressing the imperative need for comprehensive emissions reductions across all sectors to curb global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, innovation in financing instruments becomes indispensable in achieving this goal.

Acknowledging that creating a conducive regulatory environment is crucial for unlocking future opportunities and aiding companies in managing carbon reductions, the Dubai Financial Market (DFM) initiated a pilot program for trading carbon credits in November. Further details about this initiative are set to be unveiled during COP28.

DIFC’s involvement in the DFM Carbon Market Pilot is a testament to its dedication to facilitating sustainable finance, showcasing a commitment to utilizing carbon markets for emission reduction and financing the shift towards low-carbon economies. Through active participation, DIFC highlights the crucial part the financial industry plays in combating conditions change.

DIFC Grants Innovation Licenses to Winners of the 2023 Prototypes for Humanity Awards

As the inaugural host and founding partner of Prototypes for Humanity, DIFC remains dedicated to its enduring support for this global initiative. In his welcome speech at the opening ceremony held at the Museum of the Future earlier in the week, Arif Amiri, Chairman of the Board of Art Dubai and Chief Executive Officer of DIFC Authority, emphasized the significance of endorsing academic superiority that surpasses borders and fearlessly addresses global challenges.

During the Prototypes for Humanity awards ceremony at COP28, DIFC declared its ongoing dedication to bolstering the next generation of entrepreneurs in sustainable innovation. The commitment involves granting complimentary Innovation Licenses to the projects chosen for the 2023 Prototypes for Humanity. These licenses offer entrepreneurs the opportunity to establish themselves in DIFC, providing access to co-working spaces, mentorship, training, PE and VC networks, and venture-building studios.

In the heart of the DIFC Innovation Hub, hosting the most extensive cluster of FinTech and Innovation companies in MEASA, participants of Prototypes for Humanity were greeted by Mohammad Alblooshi, CEO of DIFC Innovation Hub. The meeting centered on exploring the future of innovation, discussing growth prospects in Dubai, and examining how the ecosystem can function as a testing ground for emerging technologies while facilitating access to funding.

Inaugural and Largest COP-Related Initiative for the Finance Industry

They took the lead as the first governmental entity to initiate a program drawing attention to climate concerns ahead of COP28. In October 2022, the Centre introduced its Path to COP28 program in collaboration with the Global Ethical Finance Initiative. This initiative is centered on rallying the finance industry toward shared objectives, including Financing Net Zero, Unlocking Islamic Finance, Financing Nature and Biodiversity, and Financing Sustainable Development Goals.

Running parallel to the Path to COP28 program, which comprises summits, roundtables, MoU agreements, and training sessions, it has actively propelled climate action through a series of pioneering environmental and sustainable finance initiatives.

Also Read: Signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) Between WGEO and United Cities and Local Governments of Africa